Three Strikes: Miami Marlins vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Hard to inspire optimism right now for the Fighting Fish, as firing Mike Redmond could well be a decision that does more harm than good.  On the bright side, despite failing to win four consecutive series- this was the first time in four tries they actually played truly terribly as a team since the infamous four game sweeping by the New York Mets.  Who comes out in this matchup of mashers- the Fish or the D’Backs?  Let’s dive in.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Pitching.  The Marlins starting rotation has been significantly better than Arizona’s this season, and turns out arguably their three most reliable starters to lead off this four game set. Pitching has been Arizona’s Achilles heel all year long, with two starters sporting ERAs over 5, and a middling bullpen to match.
  • Strike 2- The move actually works.  You might have heard about Mike Redmond getting fired.  In fact, if you are a devoted and regular reader, you’ve likely seen that very fact predicted by yours truly.  It’s possible that the loss of Redmond does genuinely light a fire underneath a team that has failed to consistently click simultaneously all year.  We’ll call this the “more to play for” card.
  • Strike 3- Stanton.  Despite a quiet Sunday, Stanton is certainly showing signs of shaking off some of his slumber at the plate; it’s a testament to his immense talent that his numbers can be viewed even remotely critically.  Facing another prodigious power hitter just might bring out his best.

Why Arizona Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Offense.  D’Backs are a top ten offensive team, and top three in the NL.  Power hitter Paul Goldschmidt has been hitting for average as well as power this year.  The Marlins have significantly slid in the ranks, and have multiple sluggers struggling.
  • Strike 2- Defense.  After watching two horribly played defensive games in the first two days of the recent Braves series, Miami has seen their defensive lead over the rest of the pack narrow considerably.  Baseball’s third best defense? It’s Arizona- and they trail the Fish by only one error.
  • Strike 3- Blood in the water.  Between seeing Miami fire their manager, and just having been swept by the Philadelphia Phillies…Arizona will likely have some added motivation this week.
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